In an industry that now boasts over 26,000 startups, building out a top-quality fintech SEO strategy that attracts new customers, instead of just traffic, is now a must for ambitious CEOs.
Today, the rise of the financial technology industry shows no sign of slowing. After a pandemic-induced slump, total global investment is surging again. Investor outlay into fintech companies hit a record $210 billion in 2021, totaling private equity funding worth more than double of 2018, according to KPMG.
Resurgent fintech investment, with a record number of deals in 2021
With powerful new rivals to contend with, the onus is on fintech CEOs and CMOs to grab their share of the pie for their company, which is why many now turn to fintech SEO agencies to put them on the right path.
Yet, fintech startups and SEO agencies alike come up against common difficulties that make this task harder, including:
- Learning to how rank highly in very competitive keyword landscapes
- Knowing which marketing tactics (including SEO) are the most potent for fintechs
- Ensuring that content stays within strict compliance laws
- Directing your team to work on increasing customers and not just traffic
At Mint Position, we’ve helped some of the top fintechs in the EU and Middle East, including Sarwa and Vivawallet, overcome these digital marketing hurdles to escalate their organic traffic, draw in the right type of customer, and increase conversions.
But it isn’t easy.
If you’re a fintech CEO, CMO or SEO manager, you’ll know that just building a powerful SEO campaign isn’t enough. Understanding why it’s so important, and how SEO can drive a consumer to connect with your company is also crucial.
Looking to get more customers on board with your fintech business? Schedule a free consultation, and our team of experts will show how our proven fintech SEO methodology will bring visibility, engagement and conversions to your website.
Why is excellent fintech SEO so important?
Search Engine Optimization for fintech should be done differently compared to other industries.
Fintech SEO requires more creativity than technical SEO, a deeper knowledge of your target audience, and a more thoughtful keyword strategy that focuses on difficulty level.
In a saturated marketplace, excellent fintech SEO can help a company stand out by ticking several crucial boxes that catch a customer’s eye.
If done correctly, it’s the most effective tool for pulling in the high-value customers your business is looking for, rather than just heaps of random traffic that results in 95% bounce rates.
In fact, when it comes to improving your content marketing ROI, SEO is one of the best tools out there for a fintech company.
Let’s look a bit more at why.
1. It aims to quickly rank high buyer-intent fintech keywords
Great financial services SEO targets the keywords with “high buyer intention” and interweaves them into original and dynamic content, written and researched by highly skilled writers.
Finely tuned keyword research is the only way to uncover what your customer is looking for, using a strategy built around a deep understanding of their needs.
Fintech marketers can embody this in the form of a buyer persona, which describes the target client in precise detail, and helps create a hyper-specialized writing tone that makes them feel like you’re talking directly to them.
2. It targets readers that crave information
The people that fintech SEO is trying to win over are often different from a regular audience. They crave information for financial service products that they want to learn about, and thus end up searching Google.
Unsurprisingly, this is why over 60% of customers in fintech-related industries say they ran a search before becoming a customer.
Quality fintech SEO content, then, must exude the authority and credibility that defines the backbone of journalistic research. The writer’s task is to supply this accurate research, backed up by expert opinion, which educates the reader in their pursuit of the best solution.
Not only that, high-grade content satisfies key Google SERP requirements, which help rank the content highly and improves conversion performance. It’s all part of a virtuous circle.
3. It builds trust over time
When surveyed, many fintech-related industries often cite “lack of trust” as the top hurdle for customer growth.
Fintech customers (understandably so) don’t do impulse buying. Instead of making decisions on a whim, as someone buying clothes might, a fintech customer needs time to carefully consider their options, which is where the patient nature of fintech SEO proves its worth.
When done well, the best fintech SEO steadily builds trust with the reader through a well-planned content funnel. It guides them on a journey that first engages and educates them, then helps them evaluate their options before proving why buying a particular product or service is the best move.
Our top 5 tried-and-tested fintech SEO strategies
1. Make on-page SEO your focus
On-page SEO and technical SEO are two important pillars of digital marketing, but when it comes to fintech, tilting the balance toward on-page optimization is the right move.
Fintech sites are small, which means they index far fewer pages than, say, a giant e-commerce site like Amazon. In general, if your site has fewer than 10,000 indexed pages, there’s less of a need for technical fixes (although these are still important), and more of a need for consistent, quality content produced by a dedicated inbound marketing team.
This team doesn’t need to be a sprawling network of people. In fact, often just four or five members are enough to transform on-page SEO performance.
The company CMO and a content marketing manager oversee the department, with a content marketing specialist, user experience (UX)/graphic designer, and (potentially) a compliance officer responsible for content, UX specifications, and legal requirements, respectively. (Note that the compliance officer may only be needed in some industries, and even then their participation may be reserved to general oversight and guidelines.)
Here’s a breakdown of what this department should be responsible for as you strive for top-class on-page SEO.
Build marketing strategy and set goals
Having the content marketing manager work directly with the CMO means you marry two crucial aspects: the CMO holds the vision of where they want to take the company, and the content marketing manager has the SEO and marketing expertise to know how to get there.
The meeting of their two minds should result in a detailed content strategy underpinned by clear goals in terms of SERP rankings, lead generation, and conversions. On-page SEO plays a key role in this.
Optimize title tags, meta data, and images
Title tags and meta descriptions serve two vital purposes: when done well, they help content rank highly, and also help to form a user’s first impression of the piece – hopefully enough for them to click into it.
The ideal length of a title is around 60 characters, while a meta description should never exceed 150, helping to keep both punchy, engaging and in line with Google’s SERP criteria.
Images back this up when they’re relevant to the text and described well. A chart about the decline of cryptocurrency in an article about Bitcoin, for example, would tick several specific keywords and help when Google’s algorithms are looking for illustrative and informative content. Moreover, you can end up getting visits from Google Images, which is the world’s third-largest search engine after Google and YouTube.
Infuse content with internal linking
Internal linking is like building a web between your articles that strengthens your site’s structure.
It also gives readers related topics to continue reading and engaging with your site, creating a sort of “Wikipedia effect.” This becomes more pronounced the larger your library of related topics becomes.
With internal linking, you’re not only backing up your current piece with relevant backlinks, but also boosting the SEO of the pages you’re linking to.
Use fintech keywords sensibly
Keyword stuffing is something that afflicts many sites as they try to clamber up the rankings ladder but, like with many things in life, moderation is key.
It’s possible to hit keyword requirements by subtly inserting them into paragraphs so that the reader barely notices. A quality writer can do this artfully, rather than just blasting content with repetitive terms and phrases that distort the message, and scare Google’s machines away.
Having this artfully written on-page SEO interwoven throughout your site, from product landing pages through to each piece of content, is one of the most valuable skills a fintech startup can have.
2. Pain point SEO
Pain point SEO is a way of speaking directly to customers at their time of need.
First coined by the team at Grow and Convert, pain point SEO is where the content funnel we mentioned earlier really kicks into action by targeting potential buyers who are aware of their problem and in need of a specific solution.
The task starts with the content marketing team, which needs to really dig into what’s bugging their target audience and then define this in the form of a finely tuned buyer persona.
Questions that can lead them to the most accurate persona possible include: What role do they have at the company? Which problems do they need to solve?
Even seemingly trivial information, like their age and hobbies, can help form a vivid picture of a specific buyer in our minds.
The task is then to create optimized content that offers this person a targeted solution that anticipates someone running a search for their pain points. Researching content ideas based around these specific and “painful” issues is the first port of call, followed by infusing the idea with target keywords with a high buyer search intent that will get it noticed by the right people.
Writing different types of content based around a keyword or phrase relating to a problem is key here, with the aim of solving this issue within the piece.
A typical content funnel for a fintech firm that specializes in investments may look something like this:
- Everything You Need to Know About Investing Online in 2023 (unaware stage)
- XYZ Ways to Avoid Getting Burned in the Stock Market (pain aware)
- How Passive ETFs Help Avoid Investment Catastrophe (solution aware)
- How [Company Name] Puts Smart Investing on Auto-Pilot (product aware)
Here, the fintech startup is actively seeking customers with investment anxieties; how to do it safely and how to maximize their returns.
Pain-point SEO in this example is addressing this need by guiding them from a stage where they are looking to be educating to needing specific help, and then pointing them toward a specific solution.
Yet, making your content stand out also means checking out what’s already available online and offering something new. To use the above example, it might mean branching out to new kinds of investments or offering unique features.
Whichever route you go down, molding pain points into content that will most likely end in conversions is the bottom line, as this is the goal of all pain-point SEO content.
3. Launch a long-tail, low-difficulty keyword strategy
When target customers are near the bottom of the content funnel, their pain points are likely to be specific and more acute.
Long-tail keywords (keyword phrases that are over 4 words) give us the capacity to address these needs directly, stepping away from generic two-word terms that cover a multitude of potential issues and using detailed phrases instead.
Moreover, long-tail keywords tend to rank faster than simple two-word phrases that other established websites and fintech startups already rank for and hundreds of other SEO consultants are currently targeting.
At Mint Position, we combine the precision of long-tail terms with the low-hanging fruit of low-difficulty keywords to form what we call ‘Easy Wins SEO’.
Take the example of one of our clients, a fintech startup that provides low-interest loans to small businesses. Most SEO teams would target a common term like ‘small business loans’: a relevant phrase, but also one that would take years to rank highly on Google SERPs with its 79% difficulty and global volume of 78,500.
Small business loans: a common, yet highly difficult, fintech keyword
These terms are fine as part of a comprehensive keyword strategy that builds an authority around topics related to business finance, but targeting long-tail keywords that are easier to rank for will yield more bountiful returns, faster.
Here’s an example: asset-based lending vs cash flow lending.
While this has a low volume that would scare most SEO teams away, our keyword tool lets us peer into the search intent behind the word, which, as you can see from the next graphic, also has a low KW difficulty.
The average cost/pay-per-click (CPC or PPC) of $7, around three times the Google Ads average, tells us that, while there were only 30 US searches for it in the past month, these users are much more likely to make commercial purchases.
Indeed, the intent of this keyword is listed above as ‘commercial.’
In other words, this is ideal for a young fintech company offering loans and financing to motivated borrowers, and with a difficulty of 12%, there is a very low barrier to get in front of potential customers.
When it comes to keyword strategy, looking at the work of successful competitors is also extremely handy.
A thorough competitor SEO audit lets you observe and analyze where their top SEO traffic is coming from, giving you content and keyword ideas that may have slipped your mind.
Modern SEO tools, such as the one we mention in the next section, have this analysis as an in-built feature, allowing you to piggyback on the success of these terms, but also to add your own style and authority to create unique content.
4. Use Clearscope to further optimize content
Artificial intelligence (AI) is driving a sea-change in digital behavior across the world, including SEO content.
AI-powered platforms are emerging as a powerful tool for content creators who want to maximize their content’s performance. In the fintech industry, where high-quality content is so crucial, these tools are helping us edit and grade what we write so that it ticks vital Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) requirements and outranks competitors.
At Mint Position, we tried a wide variety of SEO editors to see which one would best help us with our objective of ranking as high as possible with top-class content.
Clearscope came out on top, and has since helped us deliver exceptional results for our fintech clients.
Here’s an overview of its highly effective tech, which goes further than many SEO services, including Ahrefs and SEMRUSH.
- Clearscope utilizes three world-class language processing models, Google Cloud Natural Language, IBM Watson, and OpenAI’s GPT-3, to assess the top-performing 30 rival articles.
- It then provides actionable recommendations based on that, including hitting semantic keywords, ideal word counts, readability levels and headings, and adds a unique slant to them according to your target market’s search intent.
- Once our team of expert writers have created the content, they put it through Clearscope’s unique editing and grading system to finetune it towards the best organic performance possible.
The highly effective Clearscope editor, showing an A+ content rating for this article
Since launching work with this tool, Clearscope helped us triple the organic traffic of one client, as well as hit the number 1 spot on Google for several key search terms in different industries.
By harnessing the power of these kinds of emerging technologies to deliver ultra-optimized quality content for our clients’ target markets, we expect this to be the start of a long and fruitful partnership.
5. Focus on quality link building
One of the hallmarks of exceptional fintech SEO tactics is supporting a content library with the best possible sources of user-friendly guides and tools.
Not only are these resources important for adding authority and credibility to what you’re saying, they also help to build backlinks, a key component used to deciding ranking positions on Google SERPs.
Thus, the right link-building can be extremely valuable, but also very hard to achieve. This then calls for a strategy that involves a blend of manual and passive link building.
Manual link building
In highly competitive industries, a methodical approach is required when it comes to inserting links from quality sources.
Link ‘graveyards’, those domains with little or no organic traffic, are strictly off-limits as they won’t benefit your website in the long run.
Instead, assessing sites by two important metrics, Domain Authority (DA) and organic traffic is crucial. Domain Authority is a ranking score that predicts how highly a site is likely to feature on Google organic search results: a score of over 40 is key here, and when combined with high levels of organic traffic, it is a sure sign that a given website contains high-quality links.
Mint Position approaches these high-value sources by offering a two-way link outreach agreement, whereby both parties link to each other’s content to jointly boost authority.
Sometimes the internet just needs to come to you. Passive linking is a strategy that focuses on producing high-quality content that online users will discover and voluntarily link to because of its useful and informative nature.
Top-of-the-funnel articles that speak to a wide audience are the best vehicle for doing this, as well as using extensive media outreach to build up a high volume of readers.
Handy and relevant guides, reports and tools form the backbone of this approach, with one example being a retirement calculator we created for our fintech client Sarwa that spoke to a broad cross-section of online users.
Sarwa’s retirement calculator that brought us incredible link value
Turning web pages into link magnets in this way is a fine art, but something that is well worth doing as you try to generate more organic traffic and that’ll attract more backlinks and thus boost your site’s authority.
In the world of fintech, this requires creativity as there are fewer organic possibilities than in industries like fashion and commerce.
But, at Mint Position, we relish the challenge.
Ready to put these fintech SEO strategies into action for your company? Get in touch with us to find out how we use them to target (and capture) the high-quality customers you’ve been looking for.